The New Mastersounds brought their twentieth-anniversary celebration to the Spirit Of The Suwannee Music Park for two seriously funky sets of joyous funk at the inaugural Suwannee Rising Music Festival.The band’s performances at the new Suwannee festival served as a testimonial to their undiminished ability to rock two decades later. Drummer Simon Allen kept time while cracking jokes and keeping the beat going with funky help from bassist Pete Shand. The band’s master of all things keyboard, Joe Tatton, filled the top end with lingering chords and infectious fills while guitarist Eddie Roberts used his signature slinky style to amazing effect both nights.Playing amazing sets to a delighted crowd at Suwannee was certainly not a new experience for The New Mastersounds. As they noted from the stage, they helped headline almost every edition of the Bear Creek Music Festival, and have participated in a few other park parties like the Purple Hatters Ball. The band was clearly happy to be back in the Spirit Of Suwannee, and it showed in their exuberant sets over the Rising weekend.The new spirit the Suwannee Rising Festival is rooted in the past, with events like the sadly departed Wannee and Bear Creek fests informing and serving as forebears for the future, with wicked sets from Oteil Burbridge, Lettuce, Dumpstaphunk, moe., Ghost-Note and more laid down over the course of the weekend. It certainly looks like this new gathering has the strength to last long into the future! Only time will tell. For now, let’s check out the following clips from The New Mastersounds captured by Rex-A-Vision! Enjoy!The New Mastersounds – “Dusty Groove”The New Mastersounds – “The Road to Fuji Rock”The New Mastersounds – “Thermal Bad”For more information on The New Mastersounds’ upcoming dates, head over to the band’s website here.
The Southern Environmental Law Center and partners filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service on March 15. SELC alleges that the Forest Service is “illegally endangering the soil, forests, and waters of the Cherokee National Forest and hiding those risks from the public.”SELC, on behalf of the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Knoxville attorney Shelby Ward, on behalf of Heartwood and Tennessee Heartwood, filed the lawsuit jointly in federal court.This comes just after the Forest Service proposed that it would sell 534 acres of timber for commercial logging, putting trout-laden Tumbling Creek at high risk. Tumbling Creek runs through the southeast mountains of Tennessee and is popular among local families who fish, wade and picnic along the stream.Conservation groups worry that logging the steep slopes along Tumbling Creek could cause major soil loss. As a result, trees may not be able to grow.Many conservation groups have spent years trying to dissuade the Forest Service from taking risks on the public land. According to the SELC, the Forest Service ignored the conservation groups’ concerns, “violating agency requirements to respond transparently and truthfully to citizen objections.”The SELC also reported that “mismanagement of comparable projects in the Cherokee National Forest containing similar slopes with erosive soils have left mountainsides barren.” This then impacts hunting, fishing and ultimately the local economy.
Anders Svennesen, CIO at Danica Pension, told IPE: “We really believe it’s a much better product, as we can target investments with the most attractive risk/reward to all risk profiles, and because we now have much more investment flexibility.”The product contains a defensive fund (bonds), a middle risk fund (mix of bonds and equities) and an aggressive fund (equities), and offers customers three risk profiles, which are a combination of the three.Danica Pension – Denmark’s second-largest commercial pension provider, with approximately DKK327bn (€43.8bn) in assets under management – has been particularly busy over the last year in hiring investment staff and re-designing its investment strategy in a bid to improve returns and win customers.Svennesen said he had no doubt the new products would be better performers.“Because in this new set-up, we are able to make sure that, no matter what risk profile you have, you get the best return for the risk, and we couldn’t do that before,” he said.When he took up his post at Danica Pension a year ago, having been co-CIO at statutory pension fund ATP, Svennesen said he tried to work out why Danica Pension had been underperforming in the Danish pensions sector, and identified some “systematic issues”.“Some of the profiles of Danica had much lower risk than competitors in the market, so, when markets were rising, we were lagging behind,” he said. “When markets were falling, then we would actually do better, but it was not because of the internal management – it was a matter of how much risk we had.”One of problems he saw was the way the Danica Balance product was implemented.“It was implemented in the mutual funds division, Danske Invest, and with mutual funds, it is very limited what you can do,” he said. “You can’t trade financial instruments such as derivatives, for example.”To have the investment flexibility necessary in the current environment, the Danica Balance funds had to be on Danica Pension’s own balance sheet, he said.“Then we have flexibility, we have all the agreements, all the documentation for trading all these instruments, and we can share alternative investments agreements between our different pension accounts such as the market products and the guaranteed products,” he said. Danica Pension has redesigned the basis of its key unguaranteed market-rate pension product to enable it to broaden the range of investment instruments it can use.The Danske-bank subsidiary said the move would result in higher returns and boost the company’s own competitive position in the pensions market.It added that the new version of its Danica Balance pension product, called Danica Balance Mix, was first made available to customers in the middle of January.It is based on funds held on Danica Pension’s own books rather than on mutual funds, as was the case with the old product, which means it can be invested in instruments such as derivatives, as well as traditional investments like bonds and shares.